Ranking The James Bond Songs # 15 – 13

  15. All Time High (from Octopussy) – Rita Coolidge


One of the cheesiest song openings of all time (and possibly one of the cheesiest songs in its entirety) with soft porn horns and dumping bass gives way to a genuinely good song, with touching melodies and a good verse and chorus combination. The vocals are a little grating in the chorus, so with a better singer and a stripping away of the 80s stuff, this could be a much more potent song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFurkDf6WXg

14. Moonraker (from Moonraker) – Shirley Bassey


The least of the Bassey Bond songs, this is still a decent, full-bodied ballad. It lacks the memorable hooks or the powerful vocals of her other two tracks, but it does have a suitably otherworldly feel. Bassey, as expected reaches some sublime notes and though it’s a weightless, drifting melody it doesn’t have that wowza moment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt3oQN0cAv0

13. Goldeneye (from Goldeneye) – Tina Turner

Bringing Bond smashing into the 90s after an unfortunate hiatus was going to be a difficult job, but both the film and the theme do an admirable job. It sound(ed)s modern and refreshing while at the same time hitting all the Bond trademarks, and Turner gives a sexy performance, both seductive and explosive – some of those final notes are damn impressive. The chorus is a little unspectacular, but the backing strings are superb, and the verse blasts of horns are catchy, and good for making up your own lyrics – all together now – ‘Goldeneye, cuts through the hedges!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hGQ97tCTOs

Any favourites in this bunch? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs #18 -16

18. The Living Daylights (from The Living Daylights) – A Ha
ahaWe’re getting into the better songs now. I tend to sway back and forth on this one a lot – it has plenty of unique and unusual moments that I enjoy, but I can’t truly rank it much higher than this. Terrific intro, amusing vocals which veer between terrible, brilliant, and silly. The verses aren’t great, but the pre-chorus and chorus are very good and catchy as hell. It has a ridiculous, sexy saxophone intrusion, and sounds both nothing like a Bond song, and exactly like a Bond song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXM4eIoPZUU

17. Under The Mango Tree (from Dr No) – Diana Copeland

Monty Norman’s missus provides this neat little ditty. It’s not much of a song, but it fits the Jamaican, Calypso feel of the original film. It will burn itself into your brain though, and if you ever find yourself sipping a cocktail on a beach, you’ll find yourself humming this one. It’s hard finding an actual copy of this on youtube, so here is a clip of Ursula emerging from the water in her bikini, singing the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViKzO5C7gwk

16. License To Kill (from License To Kill) – Gladys Knight


This one begins brilliantly too, with a sultry swell followed up y some fine vocals. I’ve never understood the lack of appreciation this one gets – it’s not the slow burning ballad that the most famous themes are, but that’s a good thing – this is a massive step up in quality from Adele’s effort. It is overlong, but the main hook and chorus are quintessential Bond, and will get caught in your head for hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw8_LTu07Jo

What do you think of this trio? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 21 – 19

Hooray, onto the next group of Bond songs, and we’re still in the poor/worse than average category at the moment:

21. Another Way To Die (from Quantum Of Solace) – Jack White and Alicia Keys

This is another strange one which starts off strong and highlights the two performers’ strengths, but once the vocals start it falls apart, highlighting the two performers’ weaknesses. The verse and chorus sound so flat and weak after the bombastic intro – the more the song goes on, the more it’s clear that the singers and styles do not compliment each other and it turns into a complete mess which makes you wonder how either person has made a career. But there are good moments – very few, very sparse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA6-B0GsqDU

20. Skyfall (from Skyfall) – Adele


It seems to be a running theme – many artists have a strong intro, but then the song quickly descends into farce. I think this is because it’s in the intro that the original Bond theme and its descendants are recalled, then once the song properly begins, the mediocrity of the artist comes through. That’s certainly the case with Skyfall – a song so bland that, legend has it, it faded away into thin air after it was recorded and it took a team of warlocks and priests to come into the recording studio and cast incantations in order to bring it back to this reality. The song begins strongly, with sweeping orchestra interrupted by lonesome piano. Once Adele starts to warble we are reminded what a state the British music industry is in that she is deemed to be the shining light. She can sing, but so can any random drunk. The verses have a complete lack of melody, and the chorus a complete lack of emotion. The only other positive is the brief middle section ‘when the sky falls’ backing vocals section. Overlong, self-important, crap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HKoqNJtMTQ

19. The World Is Not Enough (from The World Is Not Enough) – Garbage

maxresdefault (1)

Probably the most bizarre pick of an artist for a Bond song – a band long past their sell by date, and one whose melodic grrrl power punk pop doesn’t seem to have anything to do with globe-trotting spies and metal toothed gigantor assassins. The song itself is fine, but just a little forgettable, abandoning everything that made Garbage interesting. The verses are crap, the chorus is fine, backed by lovely strings and brass which immediately evoke that Bond feeling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C5NLfYdZaE

Have I already covered one of your favourite Bond songs? Any guesses at which songs will make my top 3? Let us know in the comments section!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 23 -21

Lets get the rest of the junk out of the way.

23. From Russia With Love (from From Russia With Love) – Matt Monroe

‘The best singer this country ever produced’ coming from one of the worst singers the same country ever produced, Frank Sinatra. This stinker has little or nothing to do with the film, the series, or music in general – it’s yet another deep-voiced crooner howling his way through meaningless words. Have you ever noticed how singers like this sound like really loud and obnoxious nose-blows? I imagine you haven’t. Before the vocals start this one is ok, and I do appreciate the little musical nods which recall the gypsy fight. Replace those vapid vocals with something good and this would be marginally better. Until then, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scTDEj0yYUQ

22. Never Say Never Again (from Never Say Never Again) – Lani Hall


A strange one, because it does have some genuinely good, or at least interesting moments. The ‘never, never’ refrain is catchy, and the verse vocals are suitably sultry but the more the vocals are stretched the more you realise what an awful singer Hall is. This is as over the place as the bastard film is, with strange shifts in tone and style, and none of it really comes together cohesively. Worth a laugh though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwm1H0dxAKY

21. Thunderball (from Thunderball) – Tom Jones

What is it with Welsh people and Bond songs? Come to think of it, where’s my Manic Street Preachers Bond song? This one isn’t a bad song, it’s the first of the okay songs. There isn’t really anything wrong with it, it just isn’t my bag. The final note Jones hits is both amazing and preposterous. It has a huge, epic opening and although the movie is poor, the song makes it feel like it’s going to be something much more exciting than slow motion underwater fisticuffs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAQ-nG0AlSg

Do you think any of these songs should be higher on the list? What are your favourite Bond songs? Let us know in the comments!